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Department for Education (DfE)

DFE (DfE) (previously the Department for Children, Schools and Families) is one of the leading Government departments in the UK.  Employing 2500 people across four locations the Department is responsible for education and children’s services.

The Business Needs 
  • The DfE is not immune to the current economic pressures as illustrated by the announcement in May 2010 that £670 million will be cut from its 2010-11 budget.  Combine this with an increasing demand for public services and it’s evident that the Department needs to do more with less.  Improving the technology infrastructure and information sharing practices is one way of achieving this. 
  • It’s not all about finances though.  The Department also has legal obligations to manage, archive and dispose of its information assets in accordance with guidelines laid out by The National Archives. Making this quick and easy for staff to do ensures these guidelines are followed and reduces the risk of reputational, financial or judicial challenge. 
  • Finally, making it easier for staff to do their jobs – ensuring they have the information they need, can access it quickly and easily and can identify and contact relevant experts is imperative for a productive workforce. 
  • IWP addresses all these needs. A vital component of IWP has been the replacement of the existing EDRMS (Autonomy Meridio) to a Microsoft SharePoint Record Centre.  It was in this part of the Programme where Proventeq were engaged to migrate all the Meridio content into the new IWP environment.

The challenges

The challenges were significant on this project not least due to the amount of material for migration and the complexities posed by joint working with other organisations accessing the Meridio system.  Whilst the scale of the necessary migration was unclear, the required timeframe was precise.  Key challenges included: 
  • The length of time required to clarify scope and communicate complexities 
  • The 1 million files plus that needed migrating along with the tens of thousands that were added and updated every month during the project’s lifespan 
  • The multiple versions and relationships between different documents and records that had to be preserved  
  • The bespoke security permissions that applied to the Meridio file plan and had to be replicated in SharePoint
  • The creation of new SharePoint content types and associated population of more than 60 metadata fields each 
  • The original retention policies and copying these into SharePoint 
  • The analysis of over 200,000 files to discover (and correct) internal hyperlinks. 

The Migration Solution

Our methodologies and technologies complemented those already put in place by Capgemini and showcased our flexible and dynamic approach. 

Starting with a short Discovery phase, we were able to produce 25 reports detailing all aspects of the existing Meridio content and our proposed migration plan within one month of joining the team.  This gave the client a new perspective on the Department’s information management practices, providing evidence for previously un-tested hypotheses and shedding new light on areas of compliance and concern. 

Armed with this information, the migration specification and pilot testing further increased confidence before we moved to the actual migration phase.   
 
During this time our Content Migration Suite proved invaluable, allowing us to automate the tricky migration process and design and configure bespoke migration rules, meaning we could create and run individual batches in a hugely efficient manner. The majority of the file loading took place out of hours so as not to risk any BAU activities. 
 
Working with Capgemini we developed an enhanced change control process that allowed us to clarify and resolve any errors and exceptions. 
 
Proventeq solution ensured that: 
  • 100% of the requested in-scope content was migrated onto IWP using our automated Migration Suite whilst maintaining the Meridio file structure 
  • All configuration, pilot, migration and delta management project phases were completed exactly on time within the designated 12-week period 
  • Well over 1.1m documents and records were migrated into over 40,000 directory folders 
  • All security permissions on migrated files and folders were matched to those in the Meridio source system 
  • All files that had been added, deleted or updated during the project itself were reconciled during the delta phase. 

 

The Results

All the key milestones of the migration project were achieved on budget and on schedule. Some of the key benefits delivered to the Department were:  
 
REDUCED TIME & COSTS – DfE and Capgemini benefited from major cost and time savings by using the Proventeq Business Value Delivered Content Migration Suite, over manual conversion 
 
SINGLE SOLUTION – Including the EDRM requirements as part of the single SharePoint Information Platform saves cost and improves user experience  
 
POWERFUL SEARCH CAPABILITIES – SharePoint’s built in search tools can now be used to vastly speed up access to historic information  
 
METADATA RETENTION – Ensuring important metadata was migrated in line with the original files and folders enriches the Department’s information asset  
 
CONSISTENCY OF BRAND – The legacy Meridio content was re-worked to align with the new IWP brand.